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Premarital Birth Among Young Hispanic Women: Evidence from Semiparametric Competing Risks Analysis


  • José Canals-Cerdá


  • Shiferaw Gurmu



The existing literature on welfare effects on marriage and fertility has largely focused on groups of white and black women. By contrast, Hispanic women have received little attention. This paper examines the effects of welfare generosity on a sample of young Hispanic women’s premarital fertility and marriage choices. A bivariate competing risks duration model framework allows us to identify the process of young women’s premarital fertility and the process of marriage, effectively controlling for observed characteristics and unobservables. Our findings indicate a 10% increase in welfare generosity results in a 10% increase in premarital births and a 7% decrease in marriages by age 24; both effects are significant. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2008

Suggested Citation

  • José Canals-Cerdá & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2008. "Premarital Birth Among Young Hispanic Women: Evidence from Semiparametric Competing Risks Analysis," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 36(4), pages 421-440, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:421-440
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-008-9148-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. Robert Moffitt, 1994. "Welfare Effects on Female Headship with Area Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 621-636.
    3. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2010. "The Role Of Labor And Marriage Markets, Preference Heterogeneity, And The Welfare System In The Life Cycle Decisions Of Black, Hispanic, And White Women," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 851-892, August.
    4. R. Haveman & B. Wolfe & K. Wilson & E. Peterson, "undated". "Do Teens Make Rational Choices? The Case of Teen Nonmarital Childbearing," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1137-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    5. R. A. Moffitt & R. Reville & A. E. Winkler, "undated". "Beyond single mothers: Cohabition, marriage, and the U.S. welfare system," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1068-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    7. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
    8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    9. H. W. Hoynes, "undated". "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1078-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    10. José Canals-Cerdá & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2007. "Semiparametric competing risks analysis," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(2), pages 193-215, July.
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    More about this item


    Welfare generosity; Premarital fertility; First marriage; Unobserved heterogeneity; I00; J10;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General


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